Jessica Healey live at The Quill Room

Austin | July 01, 2024

Live at The Quill Room with Jessica Healey

Following the launch of live music in The Quill Room—our intimate listening lounge and bar—we joined forces with local musician Jessica Healey to talk all things Austin and music. 


Tell us about yourself and how your journey in the music industry began.

I’m a singer-songwriter and jazz vocalist in Austin, Texas. Having grown up in Fort Worth, I moved to San Marcos to study acting at Texas State University (class of 2021). Mid-pandemic, I moved to Austin where I was so warmly embraced by the vibrant live music scene that I accidentally began a full-time career in music. I started playing original tunes at open mics and met incredibly supportive people who nudged me to explore jazz and paid gigs. I took the full-time plunge in November and have been enjoying my lifelong dream job ever since.

How has Austin influenced your musical identity? 

Austin’s beautiful singer-songwriter community has inspired me to write my original songs with more vulnerability than I could’ve ever imagined. The artists in this town shamelessly and fearlessly excavate the scariest parts of themself through song; I’m extremely lucky to be in their influence. The jazz community here has taught me to appreciate music from a more historical standpoint: researching the greats and allowing their genius to inform my own musical choices. Lastly, this town has pushed me to embrace (although reluctantly) the country roots of Texas. 

In what ways do you think the music scene in Austin differs from other cities? 

Austin music lovers seem to encourage and appreciate more originality and authenticity than I’ve experienced in other cities. Following a cookie-cutter method doesn’t seem to stick with people here: they’re too smart. They sense art that’s made from the inside out, and that is what they lift up.

Do you have any rituals or routines that help you tap into your creativity when it comes to creating new music?

It’s an ongoing process to discover what jump-starts the birth of a new song. The first step is just carving out time…sidestepping your menial tasks and giving yourself freedom to wait for the genius. The ideas roll in like thunderstorms. You can’t summon them, but you certainly want to be ready and waiting when lightning strikes.

What would you say inspires your song writing and live performances? 

Sara Bareilles is my biggest inspiration with songwriting and performing. Her art is ruled by raw authenticity and honesty—she told me so when I met her in person, which was one of the most formative moments of my artistic life.

Tell us about playing at Austin Proper. How do you feel that your music fits the vibe at The Quill Room?

Austin Proper stands apart from other places in Austin for its ambience, staff, and guests. I’ve never felt as supported and encouraged as I do by the staff at The Quill Room. Together, we read the room and collaborate on the vibe people might be wanting to hear that particular evening. The guests always arrive in a pleasant mood and openly accept my originals as well as unique acoustic covers. The Quill Room feels like a sparkly secret hidden from the rest of the city. I’m lucky to be part of it!

The Quill Room is a place for local artists to make a name for themselves. How has your career grown since you first played at Austin Proper?

The Quill Room attracts warm, lovely individuals who appreciate live music and want to boost artists. I’ve received inquiries and requests for weddings, private events, original showcases, and recorded music. I always look forward to playing at The Quill Room where I know I’ll meet someone who will cheer me onward and upward. 

Any upcoming performances or projects that you’re particularly excited about?

I am releasing a new single soon! It’s my favorite song that I’ve written thus far. Titled “dumb enough,” it explores the self-imposed trap expressed in the Groucho Marx quote: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” This track will be acoustic and very cool. 

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